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Pre-Shakespeare in the Park dinner (to impress an 18-year old)

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I'm taking my 18-year-old cousin and his girlfriend to dinner this Saturday (prior to Shakespeare in the Park, so nearby) and would love to take him cool (but also affordable--I'm not so far out of college myself.) Any ideas?

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  1. Are they foodies?
    What do they like?
    How much do you want to spend?
    asnet nyc 8.15.7

    6 Replies
    1. re: asnet

      Venture over to Columbus Ave...and head for Calle Ocho (for tasty, innovative pan-latin cooking in a very impressive and beautiful setting); for Asian food in a "themed" environment, Rain is also in the neighborhood. If you want seafood, Ocean is a good choice. Or for a "taste" of the Big Easy, Jacques Imo has some hearty (but not healthy) fare.

      1. re: Will4Food

        agree that columbus in the 80's is good for location to the theater. While look of Rain may be cool - the food is awful.

        Calle Ocho, Jacques-Imo (eh), Zeytin..

        Why not hit Fairway, Citarella, or Zabars and have a picnic - will be cheaper and Central Park on a summer evening is way cooler than any of those restaurants!

        1. re: Will4Food

          I really wouldn't recommend Jacques-Imo's. Harrison's picnic idea is really great, I think. Otherwise I've heard mixed reviews about Rain and Calle Ocho can be pretty pricey. I've heard talk that there's now a Vynl on Columbus which would be sure to please any 18-yo.

        2. re: asnet

          They're good foodies (adventurous), but I'd rather go somewhere with a distinct twist on cuisine rather than straight-up regionality (Indian, Thai, etc.). Vynl is kind of up the right alley (funky design, good prices), and good cocktails should the kids decide to be bad. But I'd love to find something with better food than Vynl...

          1. re: jfreemanslade

            The places I'm coming up with each have their drawbacks. Kefi might be a good pick, though it's not especially "sceney." Flor de Mayo has unique food, but it's not exactly impressive and the decor hasn't changed since Bush P re. I like Café Ronda, but that might be a bit of a walk for you. If it's nice weather, there's always Landmarc and a decent walk to the play.

            1. re: jfreemanslade

              I know from Chubby Checkers' twist, but not food twist. I live in the neighborhood and know most of these places, but I have no idea what you mean by "twist," so I think I'll stay out of this. Good luck

          2. i agree with the recco. to picnic in Central Park beforehand...head over to Citarella or a specialty gourmet store and grab a bottle or two of wine and enjoy the late-day sunshine before heading into the play. i realize that you're not trying to impress or romance these people, but it's a unique nyc experience that they aren't likely to have back home.
            As for the UWS, i i liked Zeytin (Columbus and 85th)...Turkish, nice people, fun to share mezze, etc.

            1. How about the Tabla Bread Bar?